Friday, July 27, 2012

The Value Of Procrastination

I am a procrastinator extraordinaire. I have an uncanny ability, some might even call it a talent or gift, for avoiding work. If there isn't an imminent deadline lurking, I can find something to do to avoid working on the things I should be working on. My current project, besides client quilts, are all related to the soon-to-arrive grand baby.

Earlier this week, I headed into the studio to work on the curtains for the nursery. They are hemmed, I just need to straight stitch around the little animal appliques I have added to jazz them up a bit. I did two or three of the appliques and my hand started cramping. (I still have issues with my joints on occasion, depending on what I have been doing.) I wanted to be in my studio sewing, and since applique and precision just wasn't in the cards, I started looking around for an interim project and came upon a package of rope I had purchased for a class a couple years ago.

Inspiration! I would start covering the rope to make a dog bed for my friend Linda's yap dogs. I dug out my bin or scrap strips and started sorting. The ideal width to cover the rope is 2.5 inches, exactly the width I cut my binding strips. I pulled all the binding strips out into a pile few of them end to end and I was off covering that rope.

Crazy Fabric Bowl/Cat Bed

Here's the instructions for this silly diversion. Sew a bunch of 2.5 inch strips of fabric end to end. I sew them together with a 45 degree seam as they lie flatter. Press the seams open and press the entire length in half lengthwise to make a long skinny strip with a fold down one side. I may have gotten carried away with the number of strips, I did every 2.5 inch strip in my scrap box. The picture below is of what was left when I finished the dog bed.

Roll of left over binding strips.
Note those sexy paper scissors I
Use as thread snips!
Cover the rope with the fabric strip by wrapping the rope in the strip with the raw edge tucked inside. Straight sew down the strip to hold the fabric tight to the rope.

First section of covered rope. Note the lump on the right where
I cheated and joined the strips with a straight seam. Bad Cathy!
Start sewing the strip together with a zig zag seam, pressing them tight together as they pass under the presser foot. I like to use a walking foot, but it will work with your normal foot. I use a wide zigzag with a medium length. If you start with a long strip and double back on itself, you will get an oval as shown below. If you start with a tight curl, you will get a circular bottom.
Base of dog bed.
Keep sewing around and around until you have a large enough base. Once it is big enough, snip the rope off and secure the end. Now, stack the rope on top of the last round and start sewing it in place. The first row is basically stitched right on top of the last row of the base. Keep stacking and sewing until you have reached the desired height. (Or until you run out of rope.)
Finished dog bed. I haven't quite
perfected getting the sides
to stay straight.
Note how the sides of the bed are warbly, this is because I used a softer rope. This is the effect I wanted, soft and squishy for the dogs to lay on. If you want a firm sided bed, use a stiffer rope, just be certain that it is soft enough to stitch through easily.

Sir Winston Churchill,
claiming the bed as his own.
To heck with Linda's dogs.
I finished the bowl and threw it on the floor to take a picture of it. As you can see, the cat instantly claimed it as his own. So much for a dog bed for Linda's dogs. I guess they get the next one.

Now, I'm off to the studio to sew those curtains, or maybe make another dog bed, or quilt a baby quilt, or alter those silk pajamas or work on the quilt I started in the middle of the dog bed eight point scrappy striped star quilt. Or maybe I'll start something new. You never know what will happen when I hit the studio.


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